Political Action Exacerbates the Problem of Hate

Politics is your neighbor and his like-minded friends rallying together to lobby for government to shift their criminal activities policies in their favor.

If your neighbor and his friends hate intrusive government, those policy shifts may be a good thing for those who value peace and prosperity.

But if your neighbor and his friends hate people wealthier than them, or people with a different skin color, those policy shifts are sure to bring about an exacerbated level of conflict, and thus a reduction in prosperity.

Why? Because political actions fall anywhere between negative and zero-sum. Either one group wins at the expense of another, or everyone loses.

Market action, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. By definition, trade is positive sum. Why? Because it doesn’t happen if all parties involved don’t expect to benefit.

That doesn’t mean that all benefit is perfectly symmetrical. It’s not, and it can’t be. Benefit, like value, is subjectively derived. There’s no such thing as “units of benefit” to measure the result of any given trade.

And even though a better trade may come along later, the trade was made because all parties ordered their preferences in such a way that trading now for a certain benefit was more desirable than waiting for a better one.

Buyer’s remorse is the exception to the rule. Therefore, since the results of most market action are win-win, peace is maintained and prosperity grows.

On the one hand, you have political action which creates, at least, some losers. On the other hand, you have market action which creates, nearly always, winners all around.

It’s not rocket science to understand why market action is and should be preferable to political action, except in the case of reducing intrusive government. The phenomenon of hating entire groups of people is empowered in the political realm. With markets, history has shown time and time again that disparate groups prefer cooperation to conflict.

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.